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Social Networking or Sales – Which is More Critical For Brand Recognition and Fame?

Social networking started with blogging, then exploded with MySpace, and stepped up the next level of Web 2.0 with Facebook. There are billions of people over the world plugged in and crowds of new users rushing to register everyday.
 
Even companies from small to medium sized, to large corporations are hopping on the bandwagon and using these sites to engage their audiences and even boost their profit margin. There are some real success stories out there, but when it comes to social networking, brands should be more concerned with creating awareness and building their reputation than wrapping up quick sales. This article will explain why.
 
Aggressive and Pushy Marketing Tactics Do Not Fly
 
People go to sites like Ning, Classmates, and LiveJournal to well, socialize. Some indulge to escape the grind of everyday life. For others, it is a way to escape marketers and advertisers on commonly used communications platforms such as email. While research shows that consumers want to interact with brands through these outlets, an alarmingly high number of failed social media marketing strategies show that they do not like to be aggressively sold to when they are merely trying to socialize. If all you do on Facebook or Twitter is promote your business, you are likely to end up with lackluster results.
 
Marketing that is too aggressive can be detrimental to a brands business goals, and social networking is making this more evident that ever before. Even if your marketing message offers true value, it may still be viewed as annoying spam if you do not take the right approach. Trying to push your products or services down peoples throats is likely to do nothing but get you ignored or worse, tarnish your brands reputation. Marketers that focus on building communities around their brand and employ less aggressive tactics tend to be the most successful on this playing field. Their reward, greater recognition, and a better reputation within those communities.
 
Increasing Sales is Very Possible
 
If you want to leverage social networking to generate sales for your business, understand that you must put in the effort to make this channel work for you. This means you need to dive in and start making connections to build your community. Your ultimate goal is to close the deal, but ongoing success comes with nurturing your audience after the sale, and throughout the life-cycle of your marketing campaigns. Make sure you communicate with your audience and more importantly, encourage two-way conversations to acquire valuable feedback that can be used to improve your strategy. Do it right, and you will find that social networking is effective at creating brand awareness, strengthening your reputation, and yes, even boosting sales in the long run. It is one of the most powerful tools available for growing your business and adding to its profitability.
 

Gary San is a best practices activist and advocate for full service email marketing.

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